Lipa City (AsiaNews) With Mary as an example every individual must perform his role in life regardless of how big or small. By the same token those who represent the government, be it local or national, must perform their role with the utmost integrity and dedication for the common good and not their personal interest, this according to Card Ricardo J. Vidal, archbishop of Cebu, who spoke to the faithful on Tuesday in Lipa City on the feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
The prelate, who is the most senior official of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines, noted that this attitude is "the key for the attainment of social peace and harmony."
In his address, he challenged the faithful who had gathered to be responsible in the exercise of their civic duty and most especially the choice of their officials, and admonished priests and other religious leaders to be equally true in the performance of their roles as spiritual leaders and shepherds of the flock.
Cardinal Vidal cited Mother Mary, the Mediatrix of All Graces, as the foremost example of one who fulfilled her own role with great devotion and without question.
The cardinal made these points in the homily he delivered during the solemn mass that brought to a close the Third National Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Monastery in Lipa City. The monastery where the ceremony took place is the site of the famous 1948 "shower of roses".
The Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) had invited the faithful to take part in the pilgrimage. Its chairman, Mgr Angel N. Lagdameo, had sent a letter exhorting them to "visit the Blessed Mother who has always shown her concern in times of difficulties, tragedies, and seeming hopelessness."
He was referring here to a pastoral letter issued by the CNCP two weeks ago titled 'Strengthening and Prophesying in Hope' in which the bishops encouraged the reading and study of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church and proclaimed this year the 'Year of Social Concerns'.